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How is Sleep Apnea in Children Treated?

child sleeping in school

How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea in Kids?

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea can be treated in several ways. Which treatment works best depends on where the blockage that reduces airflow is located:

  • Topical nasal steroids can produce relief for children with allergies or sinus issues.
  • Removal of the tonsils or adenoids can help when they are involved in the blockage.
  • In some cases, a dental appliance can realign the jaw during sleep to open the airway.
  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy can help nearly all sleep apnea sufferers.

Can a Child Outgrow Sleep Apnea?

Unlike adults, many children outgrow sleep apnea. However, children should be evaluated by a sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause. The most common cause of childhood sleep apnea is adenotonsillar hypertrophy, overgrowth of the adenoids and tonsils.

How Do You Know if a Child Has Sleep Apnea?

Like adults, children with sleep apnea may snore or toss and turn during the night. They are also more likely to be irritable, have reduced energy, and have difficulty concentrating.

Is Sleep Apnea in Toddlers Dangerous?

Long-term, untreated sleep apnea in children is associated with other health conditions. Children are more likely to have behavioral and learning problems than their peers without sleep apnea. If you suspect sleep apnea, it is important to bring your child to a doctor right away.

What is the Best Position to Sleep with Sleep Apnea?

Sleeping on your side can improve symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back tends to make sleep apnea worse since the tongue relaxes further back into the mouth. However, some patients prefer sleeping on their back with the head elevated.

Can Sleep Apnea Get Worse?

There is always a risk that untreated sleep apnea will worsen over time. Adults who have sleep apnea should anticipate that symptoms will become more severe. Pediatric sleep apnea may or may not worsen, depending on the underlying cause, but can lead to a variety of other health conditions.

What Are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

The principal warning sign of sleep apnea in adults is heavy snoring. Many sufferers are not aware that they snore, and first find out about it from a bedroom partner. Daytime sleepiness and morning headaches are likely to accompany the disorder.

Children with sleep apnea do not always experience daytime sleepiness. However, they are more likely than their peers to have problems with behavior and concentration. With treatment, sleep quality improves and many of these symptoms may subside completely.

What Can Happen if Sleep Apnea Goes Untreated?

Since sleep apnea makes it more difficult to get restful sleep, it can have profound effects on children. They may have a variety of chronic conditions. Adults with sleep apnea also face serious health risks along with daytime drowsiness and an elevated risk of serious accidents.

If you believe your child has signs of sleep apnea, make an appointment today with eos sleep in NYC. Our experienced doctors can help diagnose and find the best treatment options for your child’s sleep apnea.

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